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How President Lincoln Grew to Hate Slavery

Abraham Lincoln biographer Jon Meacham notes, “There was no evident political gain to be had for Lincoln [to be anti-slavery]; quite the opposite. So why did he … state so clearly that slavery was unjust?”

Someone close to Lincoln pointed to the following story:

One morning in … the city [Lincoln] passed a slave auction. A vigorous and comely [young woman] was being sold. She underwent a thorough examination at the hands of the bidders; they pinched her flesh and made her trot up and down the room like a horse, to show how she moved, and in order, as the auctioneer said, that “bidders might satisfy themselves” whether the article they were offering to buy was sound or not.

The whole thing was so revolting that Lincoln moved away from the scene with a deep feeling of “unconquerable hate.” Bidding his companions follow him he said, “By God, boys, let's get away from this.”

Meacham concludes, “That experience formed one element of Lincoln's reaction, if not the main one. ‘The slavery question offered bothered me as far back as 1836 to 1840’, Lincoln said in 1858. ‘I was troubled and grieved over it.’”

Possible Preaching Angle:

In the same way, are we today troubled and grieved by the injustice of the world?

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